The last few days have been hard. Extra hard on Emelie. Some things have had her re-evaluating her life. At 14 there isn’t much life to evaluate, but to her, it’s a lifetime. She has been looking at relationships and connections. She’s been thinking about people she loves and adores. She’s comparing herself to her peers.
That has led to a lot of anger and frustration. She has realized just how much her autism has affected her interactions in life. She has realized how her life has been affected by so many different factors. So much of it led to what she called “wasted time”. You know what I’m angry too. I’m not angry at her though. I’m angry with her and for her.
She’s angry first and foremost at the psychiatrist she saw for four year. The psych swore up and down that Emelie did NOT have autism. She gave Emelie a diagnosis that put Em on a path of medicines that didn’t help her and missed interventions. Em was begging for “help” and pleading for someone to hear her. This doctor ignored the signs. She blatantly refused to acknowledge even the remote possibility. Em remembers it. She said it affected everything since. I had to remind her it wasn’t all bad but mostly, it was. It was wasted time in the sense that there was a struggle to understand the whys and help her the best ways possible.
She’s angry for missing out on things in life because she couldn’t cope. From family functions to going to places that everyone talks about. She struggles with the idea that she hasn’t connected with family members the way she thinks that they should. That has led to a distance now that she feels cannot be regained. In some ways she blames that wasted time on not bonding with relatives that she desperately wants to see and spend time with.
She’s frustrated. She feels like time has slipped away from her. Emelie sees how her bond with Christian is strong as well as us. Yet, she feels that her bond with Christian suffered during those years when we didn’t understand what was going on. She struggles with the wasted time of yelling and fighting and melting down and how it pushed them apart. She struggles to see the good times. BUT she knows that WE love her and will always be here for her.
She has other relationships she looks at and things about how they seem to be driven by “fear” and not “loving” Em because she’s “broken”. She has lamented on how the other kids in their lives weren’t broken therefore more loveable because of her. Sadly, in those relationships it’s hard to show her otherwise. They are relationships that shouldn’t be like that but appearances are hard for her to look past. The wasted time of “fear” has led her to question those relationships and love.
In the span of things, she feels broken, unwanted by so many, unloved by the few she deems SHOULD love her, forgettable so easily, and she’s fighting back. She’s struggling to figure it out. How to get past that wasted time frame and move forward. She ticked off and she’s bound and determined to not lose out on life to anymore wasted time.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It could be a very good thing. She’s realizing not everyone is going to see her as “perfect” just the way she is; perfectly imperfect. Rather, she’s learning how to silence her critics. Including the loudest one of all, herself. We’re here to help her and guide her but she’s got to come to terms with it. Just like we did, 3 years ago when she got the RIGHT diagnosis that set her on a whirlwind course of change and understanding.
I have faith that she can do just that. It’s going to take time. That time won’t be wasted. It’s going to take love. We have plenty of it to give. She’s going to need support. She’s got over a thousand reasons to embrace that support system that adores her. Mostly, she’s just gonna have to learn to be herself and love who she is. Those that love her and want to know her, they’ll be there for her by starting to make sure she knows it.
And for the record… she doesn’t hate her autism. She’s just frustrated about the struggles.